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The Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, Inc. Coalition Briefs
An Evolving Semi-Monthly Update on Community Behavioral Health in New York
             August 21, 2014

The Coalition Submits Response to NYS Draft Proposal to Enroll Children in Health Homes

On July 29, 2014, after compiling the extensive input of its member agencies who provide services to children and families, The Coalition submitted its response to the State’s Application to Serve Children in Health Homes.

The Coalition raised many questions about the application, including whether the State’s proposal to begin enrolling children in Health Homes on January 1, 2015 was an adequate timeframe in light of the fact that final approval of the application will not occur until November 15, 2014. This is complicated by the need to have contracts in place with providers prior to enrollment. The full response can be found here.

Rest assured that The Coalition will be tracking the State’s application process closely.


NYS Homes & Community Renewal Seeks Proposals for Affordable and Supportive Housing

NYS Homes & Community Renewal has released its Uniform Funding Round Request for Proposals. Of particular note to Coalition members are $25 million in Medicaid Redesign Team Housing Capital funds (MRT). This RFP seeks to increase the number of integrated supportive housing developments in which a portion of the units are occupied by tenants who are receiving services. Applications requesting MRT funding need not demonstrate a capital funding commitment if the proposed project relies on a NY/NYIII services only commitment from a New York State participating agency under the NY/NYIII agreement.

An application workshop will be held on Friday, September 5th, 10:30am at NYS Division of Homes & Community Renewal located at 25 Beaver Street, Room 510, New York, NY 10004.


DOHMH Announces Its Fall 2014 Behavioral Health System Planning Forums

DOHMH has posted its list of Behavioral Health System Planning Forums for Fall 2014. The forums are open to all members of the public and a wide range of community stakeholders including consumers, people in recovery, youth, families, providers, peer advocates and peer specialists, advocates have been invited and are encouraged to attend.

The following topics have been suggested by DOHMH for discussion:

  • How the Health Department can support New Yorkers’ behavioral health in workplaces, schools, health care and other settings.
  • How the Health Department can help New Yorkers understand and successfully transition into Medicaid Managed Care and Health Homes for behavioral health services.
  • How the Health Department can address disparities in mental health and substance use care, including how to better identify emerging needs, and engage and support residents in need of services.

The Coalition staff will attend in New York City and report to our members.


The Coalition Joins COLA Campaign

The Coalition has joined a new campaign that will advocate for a comprehensive cost of living adjustment (COLA) from New York State for nonprofit human services agencies. The Human Services Council will coordinate the campaign.

For five years, the nonprofit sector has gone without a salary adjustment. The Coalition was pleased that the final FY 2014-15 State budget negotiated this year included a modest increase for some of the sector's lowest wageworkers. However, this limited increase is insufficient. We believe that New York can and must do better. Many of our members are struggling to stay afloat and our workforce is one of the lowest paid in the economy.

Over the next four months The Coalition, HSC and many other nonprofits in coordination with the lobbying firm Malkin & Ross (who, in a happy coincidence, also represent The Coalition), will be developing and launching a campaign that will focus on building targeted support for a comprehensive policy to address the rising costs and impact of inflation on our industry. We must take advantage of the current election cycle to elevate the need for these critical state investments.

The Coalition encourages its members to sign onto to the campaign which can be done through the HSC website at the link above.


The Coalition Welcomes 3 New Members & an Associate Member

Since our last issue of Briefs several new organizationsbecame members or associate members of The Coalition family.

New Members

Founded in 1972, BronxWorks is a settlement house that was originally named the Citizens Advice Bureau after a model of service from Great Britain. BronxWorks offers a comprehensive set of services, including assistance with benefits (as a Single Stop provider), programs geared towards children, youth & families, services for seniors, immigration services, eviction protection assistance, homeless services, help for people with chronic illnesses and workforce development.

Housing Works has provided advocacy people to living withHIV/AIDSthrough its offices in NYC, Albany, Washington, DC, Mississippi, Haiti and Puerto Rico; comprehensive service for homeless and low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS services; and an array of businesses, including its famous Housing Works Thrift Shops, which help to fund its work and provide employment to the community.

The Osborne Association was established in 1933 and works with currently and formerly incarcerated men, women, children and families affected by the incarceration of a loved one. They offer a broad range of treatment, education, and vocational services to more than 8,000 people each year. 

New Associate Member

Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. operates three pharmaceutical companies dedicated to creating and promoting new products and innovative solutions for better health worldwide, with a focus on four specialty areas: neuroscience, oncology, cardio-renal, and medical devices.

We welcome you to The Coalition’s collaborative activity, learning and advocacy. We look forward to working together.


Around the Water Cooler

Cheryl A. Bobe has joined The Coalition staff as a Substance Use Service Specialist, a new position.

Cheryl is a licensed clinical social worker and certified prevention professional with more than 25 years of experience in diverse settings including outpatient alcohol and drug treatment agencies, prevention programs, hospitals, schools, as well as in community settings. She has served as a consultant to state agencies, colleges, health care professionals, and community-based coalitions on planning and implementing evidence-based initiatives to support the behavioral health of young people and their families.

Her work at The Coalition will complement the work of her fellow professionals and focus primarily on advocacy, care integration and managed care readiness for our members who provide substance abuse services. Congratulations to Coalition members BronxWorks, CAMBA, Children’s Aid Society, EAC, Inc. (Education Assistance Agency), Good Shepherd Services, Greenwich House, Institute for the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Elderly and Safe Horizon who all received grants from the Cuomo administration to fund programs that will provide direct services to crime victims.

Community Access and Safe Horizon are two of the ten semifinalists in New York Community Trust’s Nonprofit Excellence Awards. The Awards recognize outstanding management practices of nonprofits in New York City, Long Island and Westchester. Later this year, three winning organizations from among the ten will win the Nonprofit Excellence Awards and receive a total of $60,000 in prize money. Our compliments to all of them!

On August 20, 2014, Governor Cuomo announced that Family Services of Westchester, Children’s Aid Society and SCO Family of Services were among the organizations awarded NYS AmeriCorps Grants. Well deserved!

Jessica Feldman was recently hired by The Coalition to assist Clubhouses through the transition to a Medicaid managed care environment. Jessica will play a pivotal role at the Coalition’s Center for Rehabilitation and Recovery, broadening the Center’s focus to on clubhouses and psychosocial clubs. In her position as Senior Program Associate, Ms. Feldman will provide training, technical assistance and consultation to clubhouses throughout New York City, ensuring that they have the knowledge, skills, and infrastructure necessary to succeed in the new behavioral health environment.

Ms. Feldman is the former Director of the Howard Levin Clubhouse in Pittsburgh, a successful, internationally accredited clubhouse that has operated within a managed care environment for over a decade. In this capacity, she was an influential participant in the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Providers Group which shaped clubhouse performance standards for managed care in Alleghany County, and advocated for maximum reimbursement while maintaining the integrity of the clubhouse model. Ms. Feldman received her Bachelor’s Degree in linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh, her Master’s Degree in education from Duquesne University. In addition she is a certified psychiatric rehabilitation practitioner and is a licensed professional counselor.

Ted Houghton, Executive Director of the Supportive Housing Network of New York (SHNNY), was appointed by the Cuomo administration as Executive Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Homes and Community Renewal. Ted has served 8 years as SHNNY’s executive director during which time the organization grew significantly in size and prominence. Congratulations, Ted!

Kudos to Riverdale Mental Health Association, which has been included in the New York State budget as the recipient of $250,000 award for Article 31 clinical services. With the impending retirement of Ron Soloway, who has for over 25 years, led government relations and advocacy at UJA, the agency has announced a search for a successor. The posting of the job description can be found here on UJA’s website. We will miss Ron very much. He is a valued colleague. Watch for a tribute in our next issue of Briefs.

Naomi Weinstein, Director of The Coalition’s Center for Rehabilitation & Recovery was elected to the Board of Directors of Behavioral Health News. Bravo, Naomi!

Westchester Jewish Community Services (WJCS) received an $8,750 grant from the CJ Foundation for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).The grant provides funding for WJCS’s SIDS Education & Support Program which provides a support group for parents who have lost children to SIDS, educates the public about risk prevention and infant safety and distributes bi-lingual risk-prevention materials. Go WJCS!

Susan Wiviott will be taking over as CEO of The Bridge, effective September 29, 2014. Susan has many years of public service and nonprofit experience, including as Chief Program Officer at Palladia and Deputy Executive Vice President at The Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services. She also worked in key positions in New York City government, including the Department of Homeless Services, Office of the City Council President and the Office of the Manhattan Borough President. She will be replacing longtime Coalition Board Member, Peter Beitchman, who has been with The Bridge for more than 30 years. Congratulations and welcome to Susan! Our best wishes and thanks to Peter for his many years of service to The Coalition and to vulnerable New Yorkers. We will focus on Peter and his contribution to our field in our next issue of Briefs.


Coalition Job Board

Coalition Members advertise staff positions for free on The Coalition’s Job Board!  Here's a sample:

Job #  Job Title
8042 Substance Abuse Counselor
8043 Senior Director for Residential Programs

Community Health Outreach Worker


Court Report Writer (P/T)


Computer Lab Monitor/Activity Assistant

8059 Clinical Supervisor
8067 Quality Assurance Coordinator
8072 Case Manager Health Home
8075 Hearing Voices Group Developer



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